Micromouse Rules - Region 6 Southwest Area
The following rules will be observed for the Region 6 Southwest Area Micromouse competition which will take
place at the University of California - San Diego Campus during the annual Region 6 Southwest Area Spring
Meeting. The following rules were adapted from the 1986 Official Rules for North American MicroMouse
In this contest the contestant or team of contestants design and build small self-contained robots (micro mice) to
negotiate a maze in the shortest possible time.
B. Contest Eligibility
1. All contestants must be an undergraduate IEEE student member at a Region 6 school from within the
Area of Region 6 in which contest they will compete at the time of entry in the MicroMouse contest. Any
student who graduates anytime during the Fall-Spring academic year in which the contest is held is
eligible to enter the contest. A student graduating after competing in the contest still remains eligible to
compete in succeeding Area, Region, and higher contests as an undergraduate student. Up to two graduate
students per team are also allowed as stated in Rule B.4 below, providing they meet all other
2. All contestants must be an IEEE Student Member or must have submitted an application for membership
(and have it accepted by their Student Branch Counselor) prior to entry in the Student Branch and/or
3. The MicroMouse entry may be the effort of an individual or a team. In the case of a team it should be
possible to demonstrate that each individual made a significant contribution and that they are all IEEE
4. A team may consist of up to five people. A team of four or five people may include no more than two
graduate students. A team of two or three people may have no more than one graduate student. A team
consisting of a single graduate student is not allowed.
5. All entrants to the Student Branch Area contests must declare their intention to enter the contest at least 3
weeks before the date of the Area contest, that is before April 3rd, 2009. The notice (registration form)
must be submitted to the contact person (s) by email, (see the names and addresses at the end of this
6. If the total number of declared mice, from all schools, is less than the number of eligible schools to
compete in that Area, all shall be eligible to compete in the area contest. Two or more mice of near
identical design from the same school are not allowed. If more mice than the number of eligible schools
to compete are entered in the contest (i.e., four mice from the same school), a qualifying competition will
be held just before the actual contest. A qualifying contest might involve, for example, having the mice
traverse a specific numbers of cells and the time of the pass.
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C. Rules for the MicroMouse
1. A MicroMouse shall be self-contained (no remote controls). A MicroMouse shall not use an energy
source employing a combustion process.
2. A MicroMouse shall not leave any part of its body behind while negotiating the maze.
3. A MicroMouse shall not jump over, fly over, climb, scratch, cut, burn, mark, damage, or destroy the walls
of the maze.
4. A MicroMouse shall not be larger either in length or in width, than 25 centimeters. The dimensions of a
MicroMouse that changes its geometry during a run shall not be greater than 25 cm x 25 cm. There are no
restrictions on the height of a MicroMouse.
5. The total cost of the mouse (in materials, labor is assumed to be free) may not exceed $500.00. This is
judged on actual cost and market value of any donated materials used in the mouse. An individual or a
team must have the description of components and their market prices at the time of contest to present it
at judges’ request. Since market values may vary from source to source, contestants must submit the
copies of catalog pages along with the cover page of the catalog or quotes to confirm unusual prices.
6. Since market values may vary from source to source, contestants are advised to provide catalogs or quotes
to confirm unusual prices. The judge's decision shall be final in these matters.
7. Any violation of these rules will constitute immediate disqualification from the contest and ineligibility
for the associated prizes.
D. Rules for the Maze
1. The maze is composed of multiples of an 18 cm x 18 cm unit square. The maze comprises 16 x 16 unit
squares. The walls of the maze are 5 cm high and 1.2 cm thick (assume 5% tolerance for mazes). The
outside wall encloses the entire maze.
2. The sides of the maze walls are white, the tops of the walls are red, and the floor is black. The maze is
made of wood, finished with non-gloss paint.
a. WARNING: Do not assume the walls are consistently white, or that the tops of the walls are
consistently red, or that the floor is consistently black. Fading may occur; parts from different
mazes may be used. Do not assume the floor provides a given amount of friction. It is simply
painted plywood and may be quite slick. The maze floor may be constructed using multiple sheets
of plywood. Therefore there may be a seam between the two sheets on which any low-hanging
parts of a mouse may snag.
3. The start of the maze is located at one of the four corners. The start square is bounded on three sides by
walls. The starting square orientation shall be such that when the open wall is to the "north," outside maze
walls are on the "west" and "south." The start line is located between the first and second squares. That is,
as the mouse exits the corner square, the time starts. The destination goal is the four cells at the center of
the maze. At the center of this zone is a post, 20 cm high and each side 2.5 cm. (This post may be
removed if requested.) The destination square has only one entrance.
4. Small square zones (posts), each 1.2 cm x 1.2 cm, at the four corners of each unit square are called lattice
points. The maze is so constituted that there is at least one wall at each lattice point.
5. Multiple paths to the destination square are allowed and are to be expected. The destination square will be
positioned so that a wall-hugging mouse will NOT be able to find it.
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E. Rules for the Contest
1. Each contesting MicroMouse is allocated a total of 10 minutes of access to the maze from the moment the
contest administrator acknowledges the contestant(s) and grants access to the maze. Any time used to
adjust a mouse between runs is included in the 10 minutes. Each run (from the start cell to the center
zone) in which a mouse successfully reaches the destination square is given a run time. The minimum run
time shall be the mouse’s official time. First prize goes to the mouse with the shortest official time.
Second prize to the next shortest, and so on. NOTE, again, that the 10-minute timer continues even
between runs. Mice that do not enter the center square will be ranked by the maximum number of cells
they consecutively transverse without being touched. All mice who enter the center square within their 10
minute allotment are ranked higher than those who do not enter the center square.
2. Each run shall be made from the starting square. The operator may abort a run at any time. If an operator
touches the MicroMouse during a run, it is deemed aborted, and the mouse must be removed from the
maze. If a mouse has already crossed the finish line, it may be removed at any time without affecting the
run time of that run. If a mouse is placed back in the maze for another run, a one-time penalty of 30
seconds will be added to the mouse’s best time.
3. After the maze is disclosed, the operator shall not feed information on the maze into the MicroMouse
however, switch positions may be changed. See Rule D.1.
4. The illumination, temperature, and humidity of the room shall be those of an ambient environment. (40 to
120 degrees F, 0% to 95% humidity, non-condensing).
a. BEWARE: Do not make any assumptions about the amount of sunlight, incandescent light, or
fluorescent light that may be present at the contest site.
5. The run timer will start when front edge of the mouse crosses the start line and stops when the front edge
of the mouse crosses the finish line. The start line is at the boundary between the starting unit square and
the next unit square clockwise. The finish line is at the entrance to the destination square.
6. Every time the mouse leaves the start square, a new run begins. If the mouse has not entered the
destination square, the previous run is aborted. For example, if a mouse re-enters the start square (before
entering the destination square) on a run, that run is aborted, and a new run will be deemed begun, with a
new time that starts when the starting square is exited.
7. The mouse may, after reaching the destination square, continue to navigate the maze, for as long as their
total maze time allows.
8. If a mouse continues to navigate the maze after reaching the destination square, the time taken will not
count toward any run. Of course, the 10-minute timer continues to run. When the mouse next leaves the
start square, a new run will start. Thus, a mouse may and should make several runs without being touched
by the operator. It should make its own way back to the beginning to do so.
9. The judges reserve the right to ask the operator for an explanation of the MicroMouse. The judges also
reserve the right to stop a run, declare disqualification, or give instructions as appropriate (e.g., if the
structure of the maze is jeopardized by continuing operation of the mouse).
10. A contestant may not feed information on the maze to the MicroMouse. Therefore, changing ROMs or
downloading programs is NOT allowed once the maze is revealed. However, contestants are allowed to:
a. Change switch settings (e.g. to select algorithms)
b. Replace batteries between runs
c. Adjust sensors
d. Change speed settings
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e. Make repairs
11. However, a contestant may not alter a mouse in a manner that alters its weight (e.g. removal of a bulky
sensor array or switching to lighter batteries to get better speed after mapping the maze is not allowed).
The judges shall arbitrate.
12. There is only one official IEEE MicroMouse contest each year in each Area or Region. All mice, whether
or not they have competed in previous contests, compete on an equal basis. All mice must be presented to
the judges by the original design team, which must meet all other qualifications. First prize will go to that
mouse which travels from the start square to the destination square in the least amount of time. Second
and third prizes will be awarded to the second and third fastest respectively. As stated in Rule 4.1, mice
that do not enter the center square will be ranked by the maximum number of cells they consecutively
transverse without being touched.
13. A rotating trophy is awarded to the first place mouse. Verbal recognition and certificates will be given to
the top three mice among those who are competing for the first time. If you and your mouse are first-time
contestants, be sure to so stipulate when you register for the contest and notify the contest judge at the
time of the contest.
14. If requested, a break will be provided for a mouse after any run if another mouse is waiting to compete.
The 10-minute timer will stop. When the mouse is re-entered, the 10-minute timer will continue. The
judges shall arbitrate on the granting of such breaks.
Dr. Emma Regentova, coordinator, Micro-Mouse Competition, Tel: (702) 895-3187; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Vasu Atluri, IEEE Region 6 SWA Chair, Tel: (480) 227-8411 (Cell); Email: email@example.com
This document is maintained and hosted for IEEE Region 6 by IEEE UCSD.
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